MSCS deputy superintendent placed on paid administrative leave

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three independent sources tell FOX13 deputy superintendent John Barker is being investigated for claims he may have created a hostile work environment.

Barker was escorted out of school headquarters, the sources said, and placed on administrative leave. School board chair Michelle McKissack, in a message, confirmed the existence of a complaint filed but refuted that Barker was escorted off district property.

The news came less than a month since the resignation of former Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray, being investigated, at the time, for alleged sexual misconduct and abuse of power allegations.

Barker had been leading the district along with deputy superintendent Angela Whitelaw.

Much is unknown about barker. His LinkedIn account shows he’s been with the district for less than four years, starting as a chief of staff in 2019. His profile shows he worked for then-Memphis City Schools between 2006 and 2011, making his way to chief of staff before leaving Memphis to work for Chicago Public Schools until 2016.

Barker’s photo remains posted on the district’s website.

He released the following statement via Twitter:

“For all the calls, texts, and emails today, thank you. I love the District and trust the process will set the record straight. I look forward to getting back to the business of helping children and families in Memphis and Shelby County.”